August 18th, 2010

pacman inkee

30 day meme - day 2: first love

first love, originally uploaded by hep.

i bet people thought this would be about a boy. HA! too bad i don't define periods of my life by who i am dating at the time! ok so, this is a bit of a lie since my FIRST first love was ponies. actually, technically, it was firetrucks, which i also wanted to *be*, but i was six at the time so cut me a little slack ok. however, when i was about 7yr old, my mom married my stepfather, who had an awesome older sister who was a painter. my aunt zane knew all kinds of art mediums, and she understood that even tho i was a pretty good drawer for a 7yr old, my lack of steadiness was frustrating me and hindering any sort of real artistic development. so she gave me an old canonet rangefinder that did full manual as well as semi-auto. she also provided me with several rolls of film, and best of all hooked me up with access to her mail-order development account. this meant that instead of paying the (prohibitive to a small child) retail development costs of $10-15 a roll, i was able to scrounge change by doing odd jobs and develop for $3 each.

i continued on with photography through high school where i worked on yearbook at three different schools (complicated!), and apprenticed to one of the top wedding photographers in two counties (he also did formal dances and high school senior portraits thru the same two counties). it's funny because, also when i was 7, a month or so after my aunt gave me the camera, i saw my first computer and started programming for the first time (logo and basic of course). computers are definitely a close second love to cameras, and most of my life i have spend moving back and forth between the two with my focus. i have often felt that computers fulfill the ocd analytical side of my personality, and photography fills the artistic expression that i need. however, we all know i picked photography because it is the laziest art form there is, which is why i don't really take positive professional criticism very well. i figure, after some 17odd years of working professionally, i should probably know at least a little bit of my shit by now.

taken by t12

funfact: when i was in art school, i was actually an accomplished sculptor, which i probably would have stuck with if i wasn't so lazy/didn't have three kids (not that i am regretting! just kids take up a lot of time and sculpture demands a lot of work per piece, and you have to output a lot per year to start building a rep). i can work in all kinds of mediums from soft moldable forms like clays and polymers, to carving mediums such as wood and stone. as i told irc today, when i worked at chuck e cheese (i was the rat) i would mold faces into the giant pizza dough ball every morning before we put it in the walkin prior to batching it up to rise. i would usually try and get coworkers or famous people making funny expressions. pizza dough is somewhat hard to work with, but would hold the face shapes surprisingly well for a bit before the whole thing would soften. sometimes we also made giant pacman.

pacman inkee

new kittens and assorted life update

glock, originally uploaded by hep.

you thought you only got one post today. silly you lj friends! this post is to explain my long, altho not out of character absences from blogging this summer. when last i left you, i was preparing for the summer rush of activities to which we have committed this year. two weddings, visits to all sets of parents, assorted vacations to visit other people (and sneak a bit of time away for ourselves) and then some unplanned events as well. i knew the next month would be busy, but i didn't realize how busy. also during that time, we acquired two new kittens, a black male named glock and a striped female named beretta. "but hep, don't you guys already have three cats?" why yes we do. and they aren't happy about it. well, kalashnikov is VERY happy to finally have playmates that don't just hiss and ignore him, but the other two cats are taking the road of long suffering old ladies.

emily and eric's wedding was amazing. we spent a few days up in sonoma county staying with my parents and it was actually pretty fun. my mother left me alone for the most part, and yuriy and i took a lot of walks in our free time, as well as going through cases of old photos. the wedding itself was amazing, i still have the pictures to edit at some point. for those unaware, my best friend from high school married her high school boyfriend (they stayed friends and got back together after many years) and the children helped out with the guestbook and programs. it was adorable. and adorable for everyone to get all dressed up.

the very next weekend yuriy and i flew down to orange county, or as i refer to it, little russia for his littlest little sister's wedding. also an amazing story, both families are from the same tiny town in the ussr, both families fled separately as refugees to the us, settled unbeknownst to the others in the same area, and 15yr later the children met through the church and got engaged. it was a beautiful ceremony, and the party was pretty fun, hearing lots of memories of yuriy as a young kid. we also got the opportunity to hang out with his family and go through *his* old photobooks, including some *amazing* ones from when they lived in russia. someday, i will acquire and scan.

after flying back home, we got the evan off to camp, and the girls off to mexico, before leaving ourselves for four wonderful days in the redwoods of humboldt county. we hiked, fished, found amazing campgrounds, saw redwoods, saw wildlife, saw stars, and generally had a blast. however, shortly after rejoining civilization aka cellphone coverage range, i pulled over to the side of the road to call and check in and found out that my step-grandmother had passed away while we were gone, after a long battle with cancer.

so we raced home to collect evan (the girls were still in mexico) and then it was back off to my parents for several days for the viewing, funeral, and wake. my sister also flew into town from baltimore, so it was nice at least to see her since we don't get many opportunities to see each other what with our busy lives. at some point i will compile a memorial entry to my grandma bonnie who just passed away, and both other sets of my grandparents who passed away some time ago. the services were beautiful and a touching tribute to a wonderful woman who raised three kids on her own after her husband unexpectedly passed away when my stepfather was just a small child.

as soon as we returned from the funeral and did laundry, evan, yuriy, and i immediately repacked up our bags and headed up to sacramento to spent time with my aunt and uncle and help fix their computer (my official family task for my entire gigantic extensive family). we also did some fishing up there, rolled around sacramento on our bikes, and hit up the train museum, aka one of my most favorite places on earth. sac obliged us by not being too unreasonably warm, and even though we did not catch any fish on this trip, we did a lot of recon for future fishing excursions. i hear tell that you can roll up there with your bike on the train, i will have to check with tehdely about the logistics of that. but sac friends, we will definitely be up there again within a month.

after almost 4 weeks on the road and never sleeping in my own bed for more than 2 days at a stretch we finally returned this monday to find that no one had cleaned anything in my absence, so i have been busy this week preparing the children to return to school, finishing off the back to school shopping, both supplies and clothing, and reassembling the house to my standards. evan started school today, and the girls are starting next tuesday, so they are helping me with the fall cleaning (like spring cleaning, but again in fall) before school starts again and we get swamped with school related tasks and business. this year i will only have to help out in 2 ptas which will be nice, all three schools, plus my 10 jobs last year, made me a little overwhelmed and overstressed at times to put it lightly. this year i will have it a lot easier, and i think i will be able to sneak in a weekly bike ride and lunch date with yuriy down near his work. super excited about that.

yuriy and my anniversary is this friday, however, i am asking that for once we don't go anywhere, and instead perhaps stay home or at least keep things to a day trip to the santa cruz boardwalk. 5 years! for my birthday he got me the new stevan strogatz book sync and the new time wise book colorblind without even asking me what books i wanted, he knows me so well it is scary sometimes. i can't wait to dive into both of them, hopefully i will also get a present of some free time in the upcoming weeks.